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Leftover love / creamy buckwheat cereal with cranberry sauce

Posted Dec 01 2012 9:30am

When I was a child, I hated when holiday dinners were hosted by people other than my parents, because there wouldn't be any leftovers, and in my opinion, a refrigerator full of tasty leftovers is one of the rewards of having a big dinner. I could never understand why anyone wouldn't want that. Even though our Thanksgiving tofu dish won't make it onto our list of holiday favorites, as leftovers it was pretty good. We cut some into cubes and had a delicious stir-fry with broccoli, along with leftover stuffing, gravy and cranberries. The next night I took the leftover tofu and stuffing and made it into tasty burgers, some of which we ate for dinner, while the rest went into the freezer. The pumpkin pie made not only an excellent dessert, it was a special treat for breakfast. (And maybe lunch!) And the last of the cranberries sauce ended up as a topping on my newest breakfast obsession — creamy buckwheat cereal.

You may recall that I recently tested a bunch of pies, crisps and such for Laurie Sadowski, and one of the desserts had Bob's creamy buckwheat cereal in the recipe. That left me with a whole bag of buckwheat to use up, and not being one who likes to waste food, I followed the directions on the bag and made some for breakfast. I love it; it makes a very hearty breakfast that holds my hunger at bay for hours. The package says to use 1/4 cup of cereal to 3/4 cup of water but I find that 1 cup of water works better. I cook it with raisins, then add toppings before eating. Hemp hearts and pumpkin seeds or cashews are pretty standard. Sometimes that's all I add, but leftover cranberries were a special treat, and frozen blueberries are pretty good, too. Cinnamon is also a good addition, as is almond milk.

Bob's creamy buckwheat cereal is certified gluten-free and organic. Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed, not a grain, cereal or wheat product. Buckwheat is a very good source of manganese and a good source of magnesium, copper, and dietary fiber. Buckwheat contains two flavonoids with significant health-promoting actions: rutin and quercitin. The protein in buckwheat is a high quality protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, including lysine.

Although buckwheat is native to Northern Europe as well as Asia, I always think of it as a traditional food from Russia and Poland. When I was studying macrobiotics, I learned that buckwheat is a traditional winter food, and is very warming and satisfying during cold weather. I give it two thumbs up as a perfect hot breakfast on a cold morning.

If you can't find it at your local co-op, it can be ordered from online places like iherb. (Use the link in the sidebar to get $10 off your first $40 order of food, vitamins and herbs.) I think you could also use regular buckwheat groats that you whiz to a finer grind in a food processor.

Buckwheat isn't just for breakfast. Here's a favorite recipe for kasha varniskes soup that you might enjoy. And here is a delicious pasta recipe using buckwheat groats. Although I show it with bow tie noodles, which I haven't been able to find GF, you can make it with any small, gluten-free pasta. Remember that if you are making the soup or pasta, use regular buckwheat groats, not the finer creamy cereal.
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